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How To Improve Your Quality Of Cut When Nesting – The Value Of The Surfacing Tool

by Dipak Patil
How To Improve Your Quality Of Cut When Nesting – The Value Of The Surfacing Tool

An often-overlooked part of the nesting puzzle is surfacing / calibrating the spoil board. This tool is often referred to as surface plaining tool, decking cutter, calibration cutter amongst others. Its function is to remove a layer from the top of the spoil board to calibrate its thickness for the machine, in the case of a new spoil board or remove all grooves caused by the nesting process in the case of existing spoil boards.

Because this process is considered “unproductive time” it is often overlooked or not done as regularly as it should. The solution is to get the job done as quickly as possible using a tool that can be processed quickly and with the minimum of passes.

The cheap solution is a disposable tipped cutter which although relatively cheap can perhaps be expensive as misaligned knives will leave score marks on the spoil board.

The best solution is a diamond tipped tool when incorporated with excellent tool design will give the smoothest finish and therefore the best hold down of your parts.

What is the result of a poor surfacing tool or infrequent use of the surfacing tool?

When either of the above occurs, the results can be catastrophic. Parts, especially small parts will potentially move or at the very least vibrate and this can lead to tools breaking or a vast reduction in tool life. Once a tool breaks the collet needs to be checked and most likely replaced, leading to more expense not to mention down time. Obviously also the material being processed will be damaged and will need to be remachined – this can be costly, especially when machining expensive materials e.g. compact laminate.

So please check the frequency that you perform this task and the tool you are using. With some simple optimisation of the process you will achieve a far greater yield from your CNC machine.